Seiko SKX781 Orange Monster

This is the watch that started my fascination with them about 8 years ago. I was looking for my first “proper” watch (i.e. an automatic) around the $200 mark. It had to be robust, fully waterproof, big and chunky (all my previous watches up until then had been Casio G-Shocks or similar). I spent ages looking over reviews of different watches on the internet and it was this one that convinced me that the Seiko was going to be perfect. What follows is my review, having owned this watch for over 8 years.

Seiko SKX781 Orange Monster face

First, the bad bits (there’s not many). It’s not the best time keeper, gaining a fairly consistent 28 seconds a day. A couple of years ago I popped into the Seiko importer in Singapore and enquired about getting it adjusted but was told that was within their tolerances, so I just live with it. Secondly, the bezel doesn’t line up with the markers which has always bugged me! And lastly, the lume on the bezel hour marker at 12 o’clock came off whilst I was sleeping, about 3 years into it’s life and I was never able to find it. None of these things are the end of the world but do make me think that perhaps the build quality wasn’t quite as good as the reputation this watch has. Perhaps I’m being unfair; after all it’s only a $200 watch!

Seiko SKX781 Orange Monster caseback and strap
Seiko Tsunami symbol on the SKX781 Orange Monster caseback

Ok, so the good stuff. I love the look of this watch. The orange face really stands out from the mundane stuff out there. Combined with the black rubber strap I reckon it’s a great watch to head down the beach with. In fact, now-a-days, that’s pretty much when it gets worn or when things are looking like they could get wet/dirty/scratchy and I don’t fancy risking any of the others. The lume is also fantastic. I don’t think I’ve had a watch that’s been easier to read in the dark than this one.

Seiko SKX781 Orange Monster crown and bezel

This watch was my only watch for the first 6 years and it NEVER left my wrist (apart from when I had to replace the rubber strap a couple of times). It’s been skiing, surfing, scuba diving, bashed around the engine bays of cars, mountain biking, taken into hot saunas, daily hot showers/baths, covered in sand, snow, dirt etc. It’s never been serviced. Not once! And it’s never missed a beat, or stopped working. Basically, it’s tough. Very tough!

Wrist shot of Seiko SKX781 Orange Monster underwater

So there you go, if you’re after something able to go anywhere you care to think of and don’t want to spend a fortune, take a look at this little Monster.

Matt Dearden

Matt Dearden

English born professional pilot, writer, blogger and columnist. Currently flying the Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter in Papua, Indonesia.

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5 Responses

  1. Niina says:

    Hehe nice post. A day later I have just ordered one.. 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was thinking which one to take Seiko Black Monster or Orange Monster. Took the first one, but still am very happy with it. I am sure every Seiko diver watch are made with great quality 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been looking for reviews of this watched in regards to its toughness. Perfect review.
    Your review changed my whole thinking of the monster. When I know I’m going to do something where my personal safety is at risk, I opt for my g shock. I hate my g shock but they are effin tough.
    Now I think I might try out my monster’s durability.
    Awesome review. Thanks

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